READING TEACHERS ASSOCIATION, INC. #00298
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ARTICLE I – NAME PAGE 2
ARTICLE II – OBJECTIVES PAGE 2
ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP PAGE 2
ARTICLE IV – DUES PAGE 3
ARTICLE V – OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE BOARD PAGE 4
ARTICLE VI – NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS PAGE 6
ARTICLE VII – DELEGATES TO THE MTA/NEA ANNUAL MEETINGS PAGE 7
ARTICLE VIII – MEETINGS PAGE 8
ARTICLE IX – QUORUM PAGE 8
ARTICLE X – AMENDMENTS PAGE 9
ARTICLE XI – POWER OF OFFICERS PAGE 9
ARTICLE XII – DUTIES OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD PAGE 11
ARTICLE XIII – FACULTY REPRESENTATIVES PAGE 11
ARTICLE XIV – STANDING COMMITTEES PAGE 12
ARTICLE XV – RTA SCHOLARSHIPS PAGE 15
ARTICLE XVI – AUDIT PAGE 16
ARTICLE XVII – VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE POLICY PAGE 16
ARTICLE XVIII – DISSOLUTION PAGE 17
ARTICLE I – NAME
The name of this organization shall be the Reading Teachers Association Incorporated, hereinafter referred to as the Association. Reading Teachers Association shall be an affiliate of Massachusetts Teachers Association and the National Education Association.
ARTICLE II – OBJECTIVES
We, the members of this Association, in order to fulfill the responsibilities to our profession and society, do hereby adopt the following:
A. To promote the welfare and interest of its members.
B. To promote and maintain high professional standards.
C. To maintain and improve the quality of education for all.
D. To engage in any other related activities as are consistent with the law.
Specific Objectives: The President of the Association and the Executive Board are authorized and directed to establish specific objectives within the framework of the general objectives of Article II. Section 1. The specific objectives shall be reviewed annually, revised if necessary, and published.
ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP
Individuals who are engaged in work of a professional nature in the field of education and are under contract in the Reading Public Schools are eligible for membership.
Membership in the Association (RTA) requires acceptance of the following provisions:
A. Payment of dues (ARTICLE IV – DUES) and acceptance of constitutional provisions.
B. Agreement to abide by the NEA Code of Ethics.
C. Includes the right to vote and hold office.
D. Implies a willingness to participate in some phase of the Association’s activities.
E. Membership in the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) and the National Education Association (NEA).
F. Any member shall become an active member upon cash payment of the annual dues by November 1, or upon signing a “Payroll Dues-Deductions” membership application.
G. Active membership shall be continuous until the member leaves, resigns from the Association, or fails to pay membership dues.
H. The membership year shall be from August 1 to July 31 of the following year.
Individual membership in the Association shall be available to those who pay the prescribed dues.
A. Active members are those:
1. Engaged in work of a professional nature in the field of education.
2. Under contract in the Reading Public Schools.
3. Who hold a Baccalaureate Degree or higher and a certificate of eligibility to hold same from a proper certifying authority.
B. Former active members of the Association, who are engaged in work of a professional nature in the field of education outside of Reading, but who are not eligible to belong to a Teachers’ Association, and/or The National Education Association, may retain their status as active members of the Association and unified membership in the MTA and NEA.
Retired membership shall be conferred upon:
A. A retired member of the RTA who has been a member of the Association for 3 (three) years or more.
B. Any other retiring teachers, as recommended.
ARTICLE IV – DUES
Annual dues for the year shall be established by the RTA Executive Board at the end of the school year meeting. The dues policy of Reading Teachers Association shall be in conformity with that of Massachusetts Teachers Association and National Education Association.
Membership dues (RTA, MTA, NEA) shall be paid in one of the following ways:
A. Payment of full dues, no later than December 1. Failure to pay the full dues assessment on or before the above date shall result in the individual not being registered until completion of payment.
Payment by the Dues-Deduction-Plan, as set in the procedures of Article XVIII., section A, of the Association and the Reading School Committee.
C. Members on dues deduction shall have full membership rights until such
time as they withdraw from dues deduction.
The annual dues of an active member, who works less than a full school year will be determined according to MTA policy.
Membership in the Association shall be from August 1 through July 31of each year. Membership shall take immediate effect, subject to the provisions of Article IV, section 2. The current membership list will be updated December 31, of each year by the Membership Chair-person and/or the Treasurer.
Dues may be paid through the payroll deduction plan or to the Treasurer of the Association through the Membership Chair-person or representative. The Membership Chair-person and/or Treasurer in turn shall be responsible for transmitting dues to the Treasurer and for maintaining accurate listings of membership and payment of dues to the Treasurer and the President of the Association.
Dues of voting members shall always include the combined assessments of the RTA, MTA, and NEA.
Adjustments for the special financial needs of the Association shall require a majority vote at a regular or special meeting called for that purpose.
The RTA shall collect an agency service fee from non-members, as provided for in the current contract agreement each year.
RTA membership dues structure for a retiree shall be a one-time payment of one-hundred percent (100%) of the annual dues or 10% of the annual dues for each year thereafter.
ARTICLE V – OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE BOARD
Executive Officers of the Association shall be the President; four  Vice-Presidents (high school level, middle school level, and two  elementary level); Executive Secretary; Treasurer; and Membership Chairperson. The Vice-Presidents will be the grievance chairpersons for their individual levels. Officers should assume office on June 1, serve a two-year term, and may be re-elected. An Association officer may be an active / retired member of RTA and must be in good standing with RTA, MTA, and NEA.
Stipends shall be paid in four installments beginning July 1st, and ending June 30th of the fiscal year. Stipends for Vice-presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, and Membership Chair shall be increased yearly by the percent amount
negotiated in the current Agreement Between the Reading School
Committee and Reading Teachers Association (“The Contract”).
For the first year of the President’s tenure, the stipend for this position shall be
$8,500 and is to increase each year thereafter, commensurate with the
negotiated salary increase for teachers, but not to exceed $9,500. The
position may be shared in responsibility and salary.
The Vice-Presidents’ beginning stipends shall be $2000 each per year.
The Treasurer’s beginning stipend shall be $2,000 per year.
The Secretary’s beginning stipend shall be $1,500 per year.
The Membership Chairperson’s beginning stipend shall be $1500 per year.
Faculty representative(s) representing each school and a representative of the Reading School Nurses shall serve with the officers of the Association. This group shall be known as the Executive Board. The faculty representatives shall assume office on June 1.
The Faculty Representative’s stipend shall be $50 or the contractual curriculum hourly rate, whichever is higher, per meeting for the year that they are a representative for each Executive Board meeting attended. Faculty Representatives will receive an additional $25 for each monthly building meeting they facilitate. The number of allowable representatives per school is described in RTA By-Laws, Article XIII, “FACULTY REPRESENTATIVES,” Section 1, Parts A and B.
Whenever a majority of the members of the Executive Board shall agree that an officer is incapacitated or has been grossly negligent in the performance of the duties of that office as defined by these By-Laws, it shall recommend that the office be declared vacant. If the Executive Board votes by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of those present and eligible to vote to uphold the recommendation, the office shall be declared vacant.
ARTICLE VI – NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS
Any member seeking election or re-election to RTA Chair Office or Executive Board may do so by submitting a signed letter of intent to the Association Secretary by the deadline set for this purpose.
Only members of the Association may be elected to office and/or as delegates to MTA and NEA. The nomination period for officers will usually conclude by the first week in May, as outlined in Article VI., Section 1, and the election will be scheduled prior to June 1. An election Chair-person shall be appointed by the President and conduct the election openly. Faculty representatives shall act as officials.
Executive Board representatives shall be elected in each school having a supervising Principal, and will assume office on June 1.
The retiring officers shall work with the newly elected officers, for the purpose of transferring materials, records, and information between the June RTA annual meeting and July 1.
The newly elected officers will meet at least once before the conclusion of the school year, to establish policy and contact.
When a vacancy in any office other than President exists, the President shall appoint a qualified replacement for the unexpired term with the approval of the majority of the Executive Board present and voting.
If the office of President becomes vacant, the Vice-President(s) shall assume the duties of President for the remainder of the unexpired term.
A special election can be run by the Executive Board, with balloting in each building.
All ballots cast for the election of Association officers shall be stored in the Association office for a period of two years after such election. All ballots cast for the purpose of ratifying a tentative contract agreement shall be saved for a period of seven years after such vote. All elections or contract ratification votes will be conducted using paper ballots.
The Association President shall make available, upon written request of a member, the results of all Association elections and contract votes.
The Association Secretary shall record the results of Association chair office elections and contract ratification elections in the minutes of the next meeting of the Executive Board.
Section 12 If, at the closing of nominations, not more than one person is nominated for any of the vacant seats, the Executive Board may determine without further action that the person nominated is qualified and thereby elected by acclamation.
ARTICLE VII – DELEGATES TO THE MTA/NEA ANNUAL MEETINGS
Any active member is eligible to be a candidate for office or delegate to the annual meeting.
Each candidate must be nominated and elected according to the regulations set by the MTA to attend these meetings.
Each local affiliated Association shall be entitled to a representation of two delegates and one additional delegate for every fifty members over fifty or major fraction thereof, based on the official members established by the Executive Committee as of March 1.
The local Association shall submit to the MTA a list of names and addresses of such delegates.
Normally, this election shall be held at the same time officers of the Association are elected.
Election of NEA delegates will follow the same rules. The number of RTA delegates shall not exceed the number allotted to RTA by NEA. The delegate(s) shall submit a written and oral report to the President within ninety (90) days of the end of the NEA Representative Assembly.
MTA and NEA delegates may attend the successive annual meeting/representative assemblies before standing for re-election.
ARTICLE VIII – MEETINGS
General meetings of the Association shall be called “Association Meetings.” All members are expected to attend.
An annual Association meeting will normally be scheduled in September. An Annual General Membership Meeting for the purpose of hearing annual reports from Association officers shall be held in May, on a date to be established by the Executive Board no later than October 1 of the prior calendar year. All Association members are expected to attend these meetings.
Notice of these meetings shall be sent to members far enough in advance to assure a good attendance.
Meetings shall be called by the Secretary on orders:
A. From the President
B. By a majority vote of the Executive Board
C. By a petition signed by 20% of the total membership
Such meetings will be held within 10 (ten) school days following the receipt of the request by the President. Business to come before the special meeting must state the reason for the request.
The Executive Board shall meet regularly. The President will normally set a schedule of board meetings at the first board meeting of the school year. This first meeting will be held on the first Tuesday following the opening of school, unless otherwise scheduled by the President.
The rules contained within Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern meetings of the Association in all cases for which they are applicable and which are not inconsistent with these By-Laws of the Association or any special rules as adopted by the Association.
ARTICLE IX – QUORUM
A quorum for a general meeting shall consist of those members in attendance. A quorum for the Executive Board shall consist of fifty percent (50%) of its members.
ARTICLE X – AMENDMENTS
The by-laws may be amended by a 2/3 (two thirds) vote of those in attendance at any regular or special meeting called for that purpose, or in the agenda of that meeting, provided that the proposed amendments shall have been presented in the call for the meeting, notice of which shall have been given at least 10 (ten) school days in advance.
ARTICLE XI – POWER OF OFFICERS
President: The President shall preside at all meetings of the Association and Executive Board, appoint the Chair-person and members of Standing Committees, and appoint Special Committees. All such appointments shall be subject to the approval of the Executive Board. He/she shall represent the Association before the public, either personally or through delegates, and shall perform all other functions attributed to this office. The President is an ex-officio, voting member of all committees and the negotiating team.
Vice-President: On a rotating basis, starting with the Vice-president for Elementary Level, a Vice-President shall preside at all meetings in the absence of the President, assume the duties of the President when the Presidency is vacated, except as provided in Article XII., Section 4 of the By-laws. The Vice-Presidents shall be an ex-officio member of all committees, except the negotiating team, and shall render assistance to the President, with special responsibilities in the area of supervising the operations of all committees.
The Vice-Presidents shall chair the sick bank as provided by Article XI., Section 4, paragraph E, with two Chairs and an alternate.
B. Vice-presidents will act as Grievance Chairs for their respective level.
Secretary: The Secretary shall keep accurate minutes of Association and Executive Board meetings, shall maintain official files, and shall assist the President of the Association in Association correspondence. The Secretary shall provide copy of all meetings’ minutes to the officers and to the Executive Board before the next meeting.
Treasurer: The Treasurer shall hold the funds of the Association and disperse them upon authorization by the Executive Board. The Treasurer shall collect dues from the Membership Chair-person and transfer dues monies to the MTA for the payment of MTA and NEA dues. The Treasurer shall work with the Membership Chair-person and maintain a record of the membership. The Treasurer shall keep accurate accounts of the receipts and disbursements, shall report to each general meeting of the Association, and shall prepare the annual financial statement for publication to members, as directed by the Executive Board. The Treasurer shall keep the President and the Executive Board informed of the financial condition of the Association. The Treasurer is bonded.
The Treasurer shall be responsible for filing appropriate federal and state forms necessary to maintain the legal status of the Association.
C. Individual expenditures of the Association greater than one-hundred
dollars ($100) shall be approved in advance by a majority vote of the
Executive Board members in attendance at a meeting.
D. Disbursements greater than one-hundred dollars ($100) made by the
Treasurer of the Association to an officer of the Association must be
countersigned by a third officer of the Association.
E. Disbursements greater than one-hundred dollars ($100) made by the
Treasurer of the Association to another member of the Association who
is not an officer of the Association must be countersigned by another
officer of the Association.
F. The fiscal year of the Association shall start on July 1 and end on June
30 of the following calendar year.
Memberships Chairperson: The Membership Chairperson shall have the responsibility for all matters in the area of membership. Its duties shall be to organize and conduct local, state and national membership enrollment among the eligible staff, collect dues through payroll deduction or by cash payment, and forward such dues to Treasurer.
Immediate Past President: The immediate past President shall serve as a member of the Executive Board, as a voting member, for a period of one-year subject to the conditions of Article III., Section1, 2, and 3a
Where a vacancy in any office other than the President exists, the President shall appoint a qualified replacement for the unexpired term with the approval of the majority of the members of the Executive Board present and voting.
Should the President’s position become vacated mid-term, the Vice-President(s) will fulfill the duties of the President until the end of the President’s term.
ARTICLE XII – DUTIES OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD
It shall be the duty of the Executive Board to have responsibility for the management of the affairs of the Association. Members shall initially present a grievance to the E-Board-person. If the grievance is not settled at level 1, the matter will be brought before the next scheduled board meeting. If the next meeting is not within the time guidelines of the grievance procedure, the building representative must notify the President, and an immediate meeting will be called to hear the grievance. The board member will also be asked to make an oral report on building status at each regular board meeting. This report must include teachers hired in, teachers going out, and grievances.
The Executive Board shall approve the budget, as recommended by the President and the Treasurer. The board shall have the power to vote and debate all matters brought before it and may submit items for the agenda to the President.
Whenever the majority of the Executive Board shall agree that an officer has been grossly negligent of the duties defined in the By-Laws or is incapacitated, they shall recommend to the members of the Association that the office be declared vacant. If the Association so votes, by a 2/3 (two-thirds) majority, the Executive Board shall immediately elect a replacement to replace the unexpired term.
The Executive Board shall be empowered to make all decisions not specifically denied to it by the By-Laws.
The Reading Teachers Association Scholarship Fund shall be approved by the Executive Board.
Attendance at Executive Board meetings is required. A member who cannot make a specific meeting must notify the President to be excused. An alternate should be sent to the meeting. Missing 2 (two) consecutive Executive Board meetings may be cause for dismissal from the Executive Board. Dismissal would require a 2/3 (two thirds) vote of the RTA E-Board.
ARTICLE XIII – FACULTY REPRESENTATIVES
There shall be at least one representative for each building, for a term of at least one year.
Each building shall be entitled to one vote per complete unit of twenty-five (25) members
The Faculty Representative will start with the new Board on June 1.
School nurses shall have one (1) representative as a member of the Executive Board.
They shall plan and publicize the annual membership drive in conjunction with the membership representatives, collect funds, turn money and names over to the Treasurer, and provide the treasurer with an up-to-date list of members.
Faculty Representatives shall meet with and report transactions to the general membership of their building.
Faculty Representatives shall maintain their membership in good standing during their term of office.
ARTICLE XIV – STANDING COMMITTEES
Structure: There may be several standing committees including: Membership, Grievances, Programs, Publicity, Sick Bank, and Contract Committee. Each committee may, with the approval of the Executive Board, organize special subcommittees and task forces for the specific activities from the membership of the Association.
Quorum – A quorum for standing committees shall consist of fifty percent (50%) of the committee’s members.
Meetings: Each committee shall meet regularly and may hold special meetings at the call of the Chair-person.
Reports: Each committee shall choose a Secretary, who shall keep a continuing record of activities. Chair-person shall report as necessary to the Executive Board, and shall prepare an annual written report summarizing action programs, gains and unreached goals, which shall become a part of the continuing committee record in the Association files.
Titles and Duties: The Membership Committee, under the direction of the
Membership Chair-person, shall have the responsibility for all matters in the
area of membership. Its duties shall be to organize and conduct local, state,
and national membership enrollment among the eligible staff, collect dues
through payroll deduction or by cash payment, and forward such dues to the
Membership Chair- person.
The Program Committee shall organize and carry out such professional and social activities as may serve the needs of the members.
The Publicity Committee shall promote understanding of the purposes, programs, and activities of the Association. It shall bring before the Association and the public the activities of the Association. The Vice- President will be responsible for the publication of the newsletter of the Association. Any release of material to the Association or to the public shall be done only after approval of the President of the Association.
The Sick Leave Bank Committee shall have the responsibility for the operation of the Sick Leave Bank, according to the following guidelines.
All teachers employed in the Reading Public Schools are eligible to join.
All teachers shall be considered as participants in the bank and one day of the annual sick leave of the participants shall be substituted and credited to the bank account: provided, however, October 1 of each year the Association will notify the Superintendent’s office of the names of teachers who have signified their desire not to participate by prior written notice to the Association.
The Sick Leave Bank shall be administered by a Sick Leave Bank Committee (SLBC), comprised of persons appointed by the Association. The SLBC shall meet to consider requests for use and will notify the Superintendent in writing of the decisions to be considered at least one week prior to the scheduled meeting.
The SLBC shall determine eligibility for use of the bank and the amount of leave to be granted, based on the following criteria:
a. Completion of one year of service, except a lesser amount as the SLBC may otherwise determine for a good cause.
b. Complete usage of all accumulated or accrued sick leave.
c. Physician’s statement certifying to the disability, illness, or accident (submitted with the application requesting bank days and any renewal thereof).
d. The applicant’s integrity to build a sick leave accumulation will be a prime consideration in any approval.
e. No prior record of sick leave abuse.
5. In administering the bank, the SLBC shall not countenance undue delay in processing retirement or other termination of employment on account of disability or illness.
6. The decision of the SLBC Re: any request shall be final and not subject to appeal (other than a one time optional reconsideration by the SLBC itself at the request of the applicant).
E. The Contract Committee shall be provided for as follows:
a. Members shall be appointed by the President.
2. Duties: The Contract Committee shall be responsible for:
a. The preparation and approval of the package submitted to the School
Committee for the purpose of negotiations.
b. Setting-up its own internal rules and regulations.
c. Setting-up its own procedures.
a. The Negotiation Team shall have complete authority in developing
the final contract package during contract negotiations with the
b. A general meeting of the membership of the Association will be held no sooner than 5 nor more than 10 working days after signing the tentative agreement at which the package will be presented, together with the recommendation of the contract committee. Voting for ratification will be conducted by the Executive Board members at each building. The voting will take place over a two day period. Executive Board members will return the ballots to the RTA office, where they are counted by the Association Officers. A majority of the total votes cast shall determine the rejection or ratification of the contract package.
If the package is ratified, then the President of the Association shall
Relation to Executive Board: The Executive Board shall provide for the organization of committees each year. It shall require and assist committees to define their immediate and long-range objectives. It shall review committee plans as necessary and shall decide any jurisdictional arguments between committees.
The Standing Committees shall seek to understand and relate to the objectives of corresponding units of state and national associations, and shall counsel with them. The Chair-persons of the Standing Committees shall attend Executive Board meetings when requested to do so by the President of the Association. The committee Chair-persons shall have voice, but no vote, in the matter pertinent to the meeting.
During contract negotiation years members of the contract negotiation team will be paid a stipend of $250. The maximum number of stipends will be set at 8.
ARTICLE XV – RTA SCHOLARSHIPS
The Association will award a scholarship, in the amount of one-thousand dollars ($1000) to a relative of an RTA member. The scholarship shall be subject to the following guidelines.
A. The scholarship is available to any son, daughter, niece, or nephew of an RTA member who is graduating from high school during the year of application for the scholarship.
B. The applicant must have been accepted at a school to further his/her education.
C. The applicant must apply in letter form, stating the following information
3. School applied to and its address
4. Copy of the acceptance letter
5. Copy of the student’s most recent high school grades transcript
6. Statement of intent to attend that school
7. Relation to RTA member
D. The winner of the Association Scholarship(s) shall be determined by
joint consultation between the President of the Association and a
guidance counselor from Reading Memorial High School, based on
evaluation of the Grade Point Average (GPA) of the applicants.
In the event of more than one applicant for the scholarship, the applicants
Grade Point Average (GPA) shall determine the recipient. In the event of
GPA’s being equal, duplicate scholarships shall be awarded.
All documentation relevant to applying for the Association Scholarship
must be sent to: RTA Scholarship, 211 Summer Avenue, Reading, MA
H. Applications close on May 15 of each year.
ARTICLE XVI – AUDIT
There shall be a periodic audit of the accounts of the Treasurer as required by law.
ARTICLE XVII – VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE POLICY
The purpose of this policy is to set procedures for how to enact a vote of no confidence in a Reading Public School Administrator by Reading Teachers Association members.
The Association may conduct a vote of no confidence of a school administrator when membership feels that administrator is grossly inept in their duties, no longer fit to hold the position, or making decisions that are detrimental to the school.
The following are the procedures for a vote of no confidence.
An Association member may communicate that they would like to hold a special meeting to discuss the pros and cons of having a vote of no confidence for a school administrator.
The meeting to discuss, and potentially conduct a vote of no confidence, will be communicated to all Association Executive Board members and all Association members of that administrator’s building, in writing with a minimum of 72 hours’ notice. The location and purpose of the meeting will be clearly stated in communication to members. Only Association members will be allowed to attend the meeting.
At the meeting to discuss the vote of no confidence all members in attendance will be given an opportunity to discuss their concerns. Discussion should focus on facts, not opinions. Discussion topics should include the following: what do we want to accomplish, what action will be taken after a vote, how will we know when the action will be completed, who and what will be affected by the decision, and what is likely to occur within the next few months of the decision? Clear goals of why a vote of no confidence is taking place and actions that will occur if a vote of no confidence results will be finalized before a vote occurs.
An Association member may make a motion, after discussion is over and goals and outcomes of a vote of no confidence are clearly stated, to take a vote of no confidence. The motion must be seconded for the vote to occur. If no motion is made and seconded the vote does not occur and the process must start again from Step A.
Only Association members who work in the building of the stated administrator may participate in the vote. The ballot will be paper and as members place their vote in the designated ballot receptacle they need to sign their name to an official membership list for that building. Members unable to cast their ballot at the designated time will have 24 hours to communicate their vote in writing to the building representative. Ballots will be counted by at least two Association officers that are present and counted to confirm that the number of ballots equals the number of members who signed the official membership list. The majority of votes will determine the outcome of the vote.
The Reading Teachers Association will communicate to all Association members, the Superintendent and the School Committee the results of the Vote of No Confidence and the stated goals and outcomes of the vote. The Association Executive Board will determine if the results will be communicated to the public.
ARTICLE XVIII – DISSOLUTION
The Association may be dissolved as an action of the membership of the Association, following rules described in Article X, “AMENDMENTS,” Section 1, of the By-Laws of the Association.
In the event of the dissolution of the Association, all funds of the Association shall be disseminated to its current members by liquidating all assets of the Association and dividing the cash value by the number of its members, in proportion to their membership classification (“Full time,” “Half-time,” etc.).